The Bloody Liri - A WWPD Italy Campaign AAR

Pat and I played another game over the long weekend. We both liked our lists from last week, and we were still learning how to use them, do we decided to rematch them. After settling on the Liri Valley as our battleground in the WWPD Italy Campaign, we set up out table.

Our mission was randomly determined to be No Retreat. Like last time, Pat elected to try a Night Attack, putting me on the defensive again. I was quite happy with that because I could use some practice with my defensive tactics.

Mike's Panzergrenadierkompanie
90.PzGrnDiv (Confident Veteran)
Patrick's New Zealand Rifle Company (Confident Veteran)
HQ 2x SMG Panzerfaust65HQ5
add 1x Panzerschreck25Rifle Platoon190
Panzergrenadier Platoon (with faust)190Rifle Platoon190
Panzergrenadier Platoon (with faust)190Rifle Platoon190
Heavy Platoon (4x HMG, 2x 81mm)195Carrier Platoon (two patrols, 3x UC each)195
Infantry Gun Platoon (2x 7.5cm leIG18)65add 5x .50 cal50
Panzer Scout Platoon (3x Motorcyle)110add 1x .extra MG5
Tank-hunter Platoon (4x Marder III)255Mortar Platoon (4x ML 3")120
Assault Gun Platoon (4x StuG G)380Anti-tank Platoon (4x 6pdr)120
Nebelwerfer Battery (3x 15cm NW41)105Armoured Platoon (3x Sherman III)250
TOTAL1580Field Battery, RA (4x 25 pdr)200
Light AA Platoon, RA (2x Bofors, towed)65

The battlefield from behind German lines.

The village

German right flank.
 I chose to defend the end with the village to help my troops move to react to Pat's main attack. Mortars, infantry guns, Marders, and the recce motorcycles all went into Reserve. The two panzergrenadier platoons were placed on each objective, with one on my right flank and the other in the village. The StuGs went into Ambush, not so much to ambush anything but rather to weight a flank in response to Pat's deployment.

Kiwi right flank attack
Kiwi center
Kiwi left flank.
Pat settled on a broad front, but with three rifle platoons, he was able to slightly weight his troops on my left to attack the village. He placed his Shermans, including "Indefatigable", in the middle.

On 16 October 2005, a lone Sherman III stood against a Tiger in a mid-war game, the rest of its platoon destroyed by the venerable German tank. The tank pressed on and took 6 further hits from the Tiger. Failed firepower and raw determination kept the fighting Sherman in action. The British tank, unable to move forward due to the loss of the platoon commander, put round after round of smoke into the Tiger's vision ports, keeping it occupied. This allowed the friendly infantry sneak up and get in to assault the beast, which was finally destroyed the tank in close combat.

The amount of punishment the Sherman III absorbed tells just how focused the Tiger was on it, leaving it open to be destroyed by a much more dangerous threat. For its actions, the tank received the name "Indefatigable", and was awarded a Victoria Cross for bravery on the battlefield.

Two platoons of Kiwis charge forward

The NZ troops advance
Pat charged forward on both flanks, spearheaded by the recce carriers. Learning from last game, Pat didn't fire any of his weapons to retain the limited vision of nighttime. I rolled in some reserves and brought in the Marders along the centerline. The StuGs came out from ambush as well against Pat's heavier attack on my left.

Within a few turns, Pat launched his two-pronged assault on the village. Night time conditions made it difficult but not impossible for his supporting artillery to pin down my troops. His infantry went in and knocked out a machine-gun. After several rounds of surprisingly poor rolling for Veteran troops, the assault suddenly got bloody and nearly wiped out the New Zealand platoon. German losses amounted the HMG and another MG team.

Sherman IIIs soft'n up the Germans.

Kiwi troops storm the village
Ejected from the village, Pat sent in his Sherman IIIs against my other platoon HMG. Despite having two Panzerfausts and a Panzerschreck in defensive fire, I only bailed one Sherman. Indefatigable crushed the Machine-gun before the fausts and schrecks rushed the enemy tanks and knocked out two. Indefatigable withdrew, but got bogged down trying to get over a stone wall!

The game then bogged down into a sort of action-packed stalemate, which seems a contradiction in terms! A lot of bullets and 6pdr shells flew across No-Man's-Land as the StuGs struggled to see anything to shoot at. The Marders slowly moved forward, as did the rest of my reserves as they arrived. The Nebelwerfers and 25pdrs were the kings of the battlefield, claiming the occasional kill.

Nebelwerfers werf nebels.

25 pdr shells rain down into the village.

On turn 5 dawn broke and I moved my StuGs up to force some action. The returning 6pdr fire was deflected, and Pat's infantry took the challange, assaulting the StuGs. However, the infantry in the village was close by to lend defensive firepower. The assault was pushed back.

StuGs move up to get things moving
Motorcycle reconnaissance rolls up the flank and moves up with the StuGs.

Here they come!
These same teams caused even more casualties on my turn and prepared to assault. Pat's infantry evaporated before I could get in close, leaving him no teams to get across the half-way line. With the line firmly held by the Germans and no more than a half-dozen offensive NZ teams remaining, we called the game.

The "Other Flank" didn't make it far from their starting positions as the Germans caught them in the open early on. HMGs and early Nebelwerfer batteries shut them down quick.

6-1 German Victory!

Again, I was lucky to get away with a 6 -1 win. I abused the Marders a bit, bunching them up in the village and loosing two there. I need to be a bit more cautious with these. They have Front Armour 0, making them to susceptible to just about everything on the battlefield, let a lone 25 pdr shells!

It wasn't the closest fight we've played but it was still a lot of fun. Pat's getting the hang of the Night Attack rules. I'm sure that it was lucky rolling on my part and playing a bit more conservatively with my reserves that made the difference.

Thank to Pat for the game!

Until next time,


  1. What's the reason for 1580 pts ?

    1. Originally, we just pulled 1575 out of the air, but both of us ended up 5 points over :)

  2. Oh man, the Germans are just hammering the Liri Valley! Thanks for your efforts, Hauptmann.


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